from PHYLLIS BIRORI in Kigali, Rwanda
KIGALI, (CAJ News) – A new public-private partnership is set to fuel socio-economic development across Africa by harnessing the power of information and communications technology (ICT).
Dubbed the Smart Africa Alliance, the partnership brings together 22 African countries committed to the Smart Africa Manifesto and has the support of regional and global bodies including the African Union (AU), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB).
Member countries are Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, DRC, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Togo, Tunisia and Uganda.
Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has announced that it, in conjunction with Tillman Digital Cities and CivicConnect, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Smart Africa secretariat to accelerate the development and implementation of the public-private partnerships with the Smart Africa Alliance.
The announcement has been made at the just-ended Smart Africa summit in Kigali, Rwanda.
Rupert Pearce, Chief Executive Officer of Inmarsat, expressed commitment to the Smart Africa Alliance.
He said the agreement signified an important step towards accelerating the roll-out of smart cities across the continent.
Pearce added the smart city project stakeholders had been engaged with in Kigali offered a glimpse of what the Internet of Things (IoT) and other next generation technologies could offer the African continent.
“The lessons we have learnt during the pilot will be invaluable as we, in conjunction with Tillman, CivicConnect and African governments, forge a path towards a more connected and digitally-enabled Africa,” he said.
CivicConnect specialises in platforms for the aggregation, management and dissemination of data, serving as the connectivity tissue for smart city infrastructure. Tillman invests in, and creates, telecom and energy infrastructure businesses focused on developed and emerging markets.
Dr Hamadoun Touré, Executive Director at Smart Africa, said the MOU towards a public private partnership between Smart Africa and the consortium represented a significant step forward for the programme.
“The members of the consortium have a proven track record in delivering and supporting smart technologies and we look forward to working closely with them towards a more sustainable and productive future,” Touré said.
– CAJ News